Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on June 10, 1998 · Page 1
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 1

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Ukiah, California
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Wednesday, June 10, 1998
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Ukiah Daily 'ournal Commerce Ukiahan invents computer language • Page 3 Today In Brief A-2 Jumble B-6 Classifieds .. .B-6 Lottery A-10 Comics B-4 Obituaries . .A-10 Crossword . . .8-5 Sports A-6 Daily Digest .A-10 TV listings .. .B-5 Features B-5 Weather A-10 Forum ......A-4 ©1998, Donrey Media Group 18 pages, Volume 140 Number 51 50 cents lax Included Wednesday, June 10,1998 Reno offers no promise to tribes in meeting today in Washington By CLYDE WEISS Washington Bureau WASHINGTON - California Indian tribes pleaded with Attorney General Janet Reno this morning to intercede in their dispute with Gov. Pete Wilson over gambling devices. But Reno urged them instead to pursue their legal rights in fcourt. The tribal leaders vowed afterward to do just that. They plan to demand Wilson negotiate with them without first having to shut down their casino-style electronic video gambling machines. Failing that, they vowed to press their case in court. Victor Preston, tribal chairman of the Susanville Indian Rancheria, was disappointed with the hour-long meeting in a cavernous auditorium at the Justice Department. D6zens of Indian representatives gathered to hear seven tribal leaders and gaming employees make their case to the government's top legal authority. "She seems to be supporting the state's interpretation" of the law, Preston said. "We asked today for a legal remedy ... and she threw the law back in our face." Preston said the tribe already has filed suit against the state, and now faces the prospect of having to close down its gaming machines if it wants to continue to negotiate with Wilson, or press its legal battle and face being shut down by the Justice Department. Department lawyers have initiated forfeiture actions to seize 14,000 Indian gaming machines from more than three dozen reservations that failed to meet a .deadline last month to either sign a compact with Wilson, or shut down their machines while they pursue their legal cases. "I agree it is important that the tribes have a fair opportunity to negotiate for a compact in good faith," Reno told the leaders after listening silently to their pleas, including one from Maria Figueroa, a non-tribal employee of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in Highland who came to tears describing how important her casino job was to her family. But Reno unemotionally detailed the Justice Department's efforts over the years to find a legal solution to their dilemma. "Obviously you think that is not adequate," she said. No tribe is compelled to accept a compact proposed by the state, she See TRIBES, Page A-10 Riggs blasts 4 eco- terrorists' One-sided hearing convened quietly By CLYDE WEISS Washington Bureau r WASHINGTON - Earth First! demonstrators who barged into Rep. Frank Riggs' Eureka office last October, dumped a 500-pound tree stump onto the foyer and locked themselves together to protest a _. forest deal Riggs are terrorists" who should be controlled by tougher federal laWs7 the congressman said Tuesday. Testifying at a hastily convened subcommittee hearing that drew only Republicans, Riggs, R-Windsor, said deliberate and orchestrated acts by environmentalists justify prosecution under expanded federal laws, such as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute. "Many of our communities have been under outright siege" by environmental protesters such as those who demonstrated in Eureka, he said. Although none of Riggs' office workers were physically harmed by the demonstrators, the threat of violence was apparent, testified Julie Rodgers, Riggs' district office manager. '•Reading from prepared testi- rnony, Rodgers nevertheless gave an emotional accounting, noting that the sound of the crashing stump sounded like a bomb. " "I feared for my own as well as (another staffer's) personal safety," she said. "They knew exactly what they were doing and they intended to intimidate us to gain control of our office. The situation was chaotic and frightening." Riggs did not mention that several .women demonstrators who had" locked arms inside curved steel pipes and refused to leave the office on Oct. 16, 1997 were then subjected to liquid pepper spray being dabbed into their eyes by Humboldt County sheriff deputies. ~ The incident focused national attention on the demonstration and on Riggs' subsequent defense of the deputies' actions, which newspapers across the country condemned. : Riggs said after the hearing its real purpose was to "provide the rest of the story," and that he expected Earth First! witnesses would have raised the pepper spray incident. •'"But no environmental witnesses were at the hearing. The subcommittee chairman, Rep. B.ill McCollum, R-Fla., said Earth First! was invited to testify ''and they declined to do so." -' But McCollum also acknowledged the hearing was noted bnly Friday, "so perhaps that's some excuse." An aide said other witnesses who testified against See RIGGS, Page A-W Sunny, hot weather drew the city's chlfdren to Todd Grove Park Tuesday. Barbara Vasconccllos/The Dally Journal Sunny day, sweepin' the clouds away By GLENDA ANDERSON The Daily Journal Taking advantage of one of the year's rare sunny days, Ukiahans took to the parks, golf courses and their yards Tuesday. "I think it's terrific," said a woman driving by in a golf cart on her way to the city's green. "I hope it stays this way. I'm very happy," said Jen Simi, who was eating a picnic lunch in Todd Grove Park along with Headstart co-worker Joann Matz. She said she was sick of all the rain. "I had to go to Mexico last week to see the sun. I'm ready for a hot hot summer," Simi said. Matz was of a different mind. She said she likes the weather fine the way it has been. "I grew up by the ocean," she explained. Matz said the cooler weather has been nice for her yard. "Now I have to water," she said. Jennifer Wilson and her son, Caleb, also were out picnicking. She said she was enjoying the weather, but was not thrilled with the forecast, which calls for cloudy skies and possibly rain later in the week. "I'm not too hopeful. Who knows how long it will last," Wilson said. She wasn't being pessimistic, just realistic. By 3 p.m., the sun was playing peek-a-boo, mostly boo. Wilson said the endless winter hasn't kept her and Caleb, who's almost 3 years old, indoors, however. "We go out in the rain anyway," Wilson said. Rhonda Kidder, who was playing a guitar, entertaining her twin 2-year-olds and a group of Yokayo School students she was See SUN, Page A-10 Above, right, Jennifer Wilson and her son Kaleb, almost 3, enjoy the park and the sunny weather. At right, boys and girls do what they love most: hang out. Scattered rain to continue Local crops not as damaged as in other parts of the state By DAN McKEE The Dally Journal Light rain spattered the Ukiah Valley overnight as a cold front off the North Coast began moving inland. Scattered showers were reported over lower elevations, with more numerous showers in the mountains, the National Weather Service said. While Ukiah recorded only a trace of precipitation, .02 inches fell on Redwood Valley. Scattered rains are expected to continue today and Thursday, with some afternoon and evening thunderstorms possible, but clearing weather is expected by Friday. Mostly sunny and warmer weather is expected for the weekend. High temperatures will finally show some signs of summer heat. The overnight showers, and late See RAIN, Page A-10 Pot war grant accepted By JENNIFER POOLE The Daily Journal Mendocino County supervisors will take the state's pot eradication money without editorial comment. But, they have made it clear they want law enforcement to stay out of "Mom and Pop" gardens. The board voted 3-2 Tuesday to change a resolution sent along with the annual marijuana eradication grant application that displeased the state agency that funds the effort. A paragraph in the previous board resolution suggested that the war against marijuana was impossible to win and not a wise use of taxpayers' money. First District Supervisor Richard Shoemaker joined 4th District Supervisor Patti Campbell and 2nd District Supervisor Michael Delbar in agreeing to delete that comment, but refused to vote for a resolution moved by Delbar that simply accepted the grant. Instead, Shoemaker inserted a new paragraph that reiterated his desire to focus pot eradication efforts away from local residents growing a few plants in their own backyards. That paragraph reads: "Whereas the County of Mendocino recognizes that the safety of the public and the use of public property and their own private property is the county's priority, and that suppression of marijuana cultivation in these instances is necessary...." "This resolution very clearly articulates my view of what's going on and what needs to go on," Shoemaker said Wednesday morning. "It's interesting to see it painted as 'county bows to the state,'" Shoemaker continued. "To me, it's definitely an effort to send a message and to structure the program constructively." And, Shoemaker insists that the message has definitely been sent. "Believe me, everyone up to the governor knows the point's been made." Shoemaker said the whole experience had been a "major political lesson" for him - "the whole subtle relationship between the county and the sheriff and the state and the OCJP." The OCJP is the state Office of Criminal Justice Planning, which funds the COMMET County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication team - effort each year. Shoemaker continued: "I cannot get past the fact that if we vote no, the sheriff will have to spend money to deal with the issues, and the state and feds will come in and throw the net everywhere." When asked what he would do if the local COMMET program did not follow the county's direction to concentrate on marijuana growers trespassing on other people's property or on public lands, Shoemaker said: "I will not have any legal position to do anything about it." But he said, if a hypothetical small-time local grower got arrested by COMMET, "and it See POT, Page A-10

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